Marine Technology


The Vernian Era


all it the steam age, the industrial age, the Victorian age, or the Vernian Era, technology advanced considerably during the 19th century.  There were innovations in all areas, and the creation of new science and technology, but this site concentrates on some innovative marine technology of the era.
My original Nautilus Jules Verne was fascinated with new marine technology even beyond his affection for the sea (he sailed his own yacht, the St. Michel.  Several of his novels feature either surface or submarine technology, most especially the Nautilus in 20,000 Leagues under the SeaOn these pages walk through and evaluate the detailed descriptions in the novel, see my own reconstructions, and see scores of other interpretations by artists, model makers, and just plain folk. 


One shouldn’t consider this Nautilus without looking once more at 20,000 Leagues under the Sea, the novel that introduced it. If you read this classic in English, it’s likely that you missed much of what Jules Verne wrote. Find out why, and how you can read the complete novel.

Hetzel cover

Yacht Ross Winans The Winans family were very successful in railroad technology, but were fascinated by the possibilities they saw for new and better marine technology.  They spend a fortune on the dream of faster, more efficient, and safer ocean travel, but never achieved success.  Still, the cigar ships are fascinating examples of nineteenth century technological innovation.

The Hunley

The Nautilus was fictional, but many submarines were built during the nineteenth century, with varying success.  One of the most famous, because it was recovered intact in 2000, was the star-crossed Confederate submarine Hunley, the first to sink an enemy ship.  Examine the details of the Hunley as I've reconstructed it and relive the archaeological excavation of its interior.

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